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We Tasted, Reviewed, And Ranked Starbucks’ Entire Holiday Menu

The holiday season is pure stress, and what do we get for it? The Starbucks holiday menu. I don’t know how people ever got away with claiming Starbucks is killing Christmas when every year they change their cups to loud and threatening shades of red and double down on peppermint flavors.

Can it get more festive than a cup that looks like literal wrapping paper? Look, we’re not mad about it. It’s more that the sugar high might be wearing off a little from drinking “coffee” from Starbucks this season. Coming down from a sugar high after tasting Starbucks’ entire holiday menu is not for the faint of heart, but we did it for you.

This year’s menu includes six seasonal drinks and a few snacks including the Peppermint Mocha Latte, Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, Chestnut Praline Latte, Caramel Bruelée latte, Irish Cream Cold Brew, and a Cranberry Bliss Bar and Reindeer Cake Pop. It’s a big menu, big enough that it deserves a full breakdown, review, and ranking. So we did just that so that you don’t have to waste your money on another (very sugary) seasonal drink.

Let’s drink!

8. Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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This is my kind of drink. I’m the type that would order an Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. This drink was made for me! So no one is more disappointed to see this one ranked last than me. It just doesn’t taste like anything. It has a vague almond milk flavor, doesn’t taste anything like sugar cookies, and hardly even tastes like espresso.

It tastes mostly like water with an off-putting oily mouthfeel. It has absolutely no redeemable qualities. Heartbreaking.

The Bottom Line:

Easily the worst Starbucks drink ever. Back to the lab with this one Starbucks.

7. Reindeer Cake Pop

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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It hurts me to put the Reindeer Cake Pop this low because it’s admittedly very cute. But like the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, this just doesn’t taste like much. The chocolate icing barely registers as chocolate on the palate, and the vanilla cake tastes less like vanilla than it does pure sugar, but not even in a decadent and indulgent way. This is just a mouthful of gross.

The Bottom Line

You’re right, it is cute, but that doesn’t mean you should order it.

6. Caramel Brulée Latte

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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Taking a huge step up from the disaster that is the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, we have this drink. It’s good, but we’re ranking it low because it’s kind of a redundant flavor. It tastes like Starbucks’ regular Caramel Latte but with a burnt brown sugar aftertaste. It’s good, but the stock Caramel latte is a bit more focused and is overall a better drink. So who is this for?

If your usual drink is a Caramel Latte, this might be a nice change-up. But if you have a usual drink in the first place, you probably aren’t likely to stray. If you’re a fan of holiday-themed drinks this might appeal to you. But of the fleet, it’s one of the least interesting. So we say skip it.

The Bottom Line

It tastes good but isn’t that far off from a regular Caramel Latte. It’s a little unimaginative.

5. Cranberry Bliss Bar

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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Cream cheese icing and orange zest combine for this tangy blonde cake topped with dried cranberries. All of the flavors here are very intense, you get the wildly sweet cake with tangy frosting accompanied by a sharp bite from the cranberries. It’s good, but a lot to handle. So definitely share this one with a friend or two, and don’t attempt to crush it alone unless you want a stomach ache.

The Bottom Line

If you’re going solo, just grab that cookie instead. If you’re looking to share with a friend, this makes for an intense experience that is delicious in small doses.

4. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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Frappuccino’s are always a little too sweet for my liking. But as far as blended coffees go, this one is pretty good. Chalky white chocolate notes are intertwined with toasted and caramelized flavors and sugared candy. This one doesn’t really have a holiday tie-in, so Starbucks added some festive sprinkles to the whipped cream.

The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino goes down smooth and is comforting in its sugary sweetness.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a Frappuccino drinker, this one is definitely worth picking up on your next trip to the Bucks.

3. Peppermint Mocha Latte

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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This is Starbucks’ main Holiday drink, and overall it’s a pretty solid experience. Starbucks’ dark roast espresso is joined by steamed milk and peppermint syrup and mocha topped with whipped cream. Drinking this one is akin to eating an Andes mint as sweet mocha and refreshing mint notes dance across the palate like a figure skater across a frozen landscape.

This one really gets me in the holiday feels, I love it.

The Bottom Line

It’s a holiday classic! Drinking peppermint-flavored coffee is insane during any other season, so enjoy it while you can

2. Chestnut Praline Latte

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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Well-balanced with complementary flavors, Starbucks’ holiday Chestnut Praline Latte deserves a permanent spot on the menu. I love this drink, the bitter and intense flavors from the espresso are made palatable by the smooth qualities of chestnut and spice. Drinking it is a harmonious experience.

On the nose, the drink is nutty and soothing. Across the palate, it’s bitter with a subtle sweet lift on the backend that lingers between sips. I’m going to sound like a snob for saying this but, it’s so good I’m surprised it’s Starbucks.

The Bottom Line

This is rich and complex with a hint of sweetness that doesn’t completely drown out the complex flavors of espresso.

1. Irish Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Holiday 2021
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This Irish Cream Cold Brew is an absolute treat. Before I get into it, let me just say that this one is intensely sweet. So if you like your coffee bold and complex, see the previous entry. Sweetness aside, it’s this drink’s approach to sugary flavors that really make it such a fun experience to drink.

Rich coffee notes are enveloped in delicate sweet cream-flavored syrup with a matching sweet cream cold foam that has dustings of semi-sweet cocoa. The flavors hit you in creamy waves of flavor, bouncing between rich, bitter, and sugary sweet. To top it all off, this one gets you amped on caffeine, which is perfect for meeting the moment and enduring the grueling holiday shopping season.

The Bottom Line

It doesn’t scream “holiday,” but the Irish Cream Cold Brew is a deliciously enjoyable sweet coffee experience, and is easily the highlight of the holiday 2021 menu.

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